Leo McKinstry

The Runway’s End

The Age of Airpower

By

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When the brilliant American general David Petraeus took charge of the counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq in 2007, he issued a manual to his tactical commanders setting out the detailed plans for this surge. Tellingly, the US air force played little part in his scheme. Petraeus’s manual relegated airpower to an appendix that only took up five pages out of almost 2,000. The subsequent success of the operation, against all predictions, appeared to justify Petraeus’s wisdom in treating America’s air force almost as an irrelevance.

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